The Conservatives will have to target traditional Labour voters from regional towns such as Workington in order to win the Christmas general election, according to a think tank.

Right-of-centre Onward said “Workington man” will be a key swing voter for the Tories as well as the latest entry in a tradition of voter demographic stereotypes.

The group urged the party to target towns including Halifax, Warrington, Wigan and Workington in order to gain these key regional seats.

Onward said the Tories will need to target the average “middle England” voter who is an older, white, non-graduate man from the North of England, with strong rugby league traditions and a tendency to vote Labour.

James O’Shaughnessy, a Conservative peer and former Downing Street director of policy, said:

For the Conservatives to win a majority at the upcoming general election requires a leap of faith by people who have never voted Tory before.

These voters are not nostalgic; they don’t believe there was a golden age we need to return to. They’re looking for change, but change that delivers greater security in their lives, not more exposure to the harsh winds of globalisation.


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